Cloud adoption trends in the UK public sector - 2015 | Cloud industry forum


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Cloud adoption trends in the UK public sector - 2015

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Five years ago, the terms ‘Cloud First’ and ‘Digital by Default’ didn’t even exist in UK Government circles. IT services were typically provided by a small number of large IT contractors based on long-term contracts. This research paper explores how this status quo is changing fast, and as how the public sector is looking to cut its costs – without affecting front-line services – it also examines how considerable effort is being made to streamline IT and take advantage of the benefits Cloud computing can bring.

With its ability to drive efficiencies, improve flexibility and scalability, and reduce costs, Cloud computing has a great deal to offer the UK’s increasingly pressurised public sector. This report shows that while adoption rates have increased year-on-year, they have not quite kept pace with their private sector counterparts. Progress is, however, progress and, as this report demonstrates, a significant and growing proportion of the public sector is using Cloud, and Cloud Services to help transform the way that their organisations operate, communicate and collaborate.

However, it is clear that the public sector is continuing to operate a Hybrid IT platform. While this also holds true for the private sector, the data protection and regulatory constraints placed on public bodies make the retention of Hybrid IT estates more prevalent in the public sector – at least for the time being. Although a growing proportion of those surveyed hope to move to the Cloud as soon as is practical, over half intend to keep certain applications in house, owing primarily to data protection concerns, but also to investments already made in on-premises technology and the protection of Intellectual Property.


Public sector organisations harbour many of the same concerns as the corporate world, but it is clear from this research project that they need a greater level of assurance around the reliability and trustworthiness of Cloud suppliers, SLAs and contractual frameworks. This paper shows that security, data privacy and data sovereignty hang heavy over procurement decisions, and Cloud Providers face a higher barrier of entry with respect to these issues before they can deliver services to public sector organisations.

Costs and, more specifically, the promise of cost savings, are still key drivers in the decision to migrate to Cloud Services. The paper details to what extent this is effecting adoption and service selection but also shows how the flexibility of the delivery model and the need to facilitate innovation are delivering benefits that are more likely to drive initial and subsequent adoptions. Is the public sector finally seeing the IT department as something that can enable agility and business transformation as opposed to solely as a cost centre? 

This Research project also covers: 

  • Trends in public sector cloud service usage & penetration
  • Forecasts for usage & penetration
  • Cloud adoption drivers
  • Cloud adoption barriers 
  • Perceived economics and benefits of cloud
  • Most popular cloud supported / enabled application / services
  • Cloud satisfaction levels 
  • Impact of Cloud on the IT department
  • Migration lessons and pitfalls.

This White Paper sets out to explore the reality of adoption of Cloud Services across the UK public sector and looks into the levels of adoption, the drivers, satisfaction levels with the services being accessed and the concerns that can impede adoption.

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